Thursday, September 22, 2016

The USA is Not a Jewish Country!

I was born and raised in the USA, the United States of America. And in the second half of the twentieth century, post-World War Two, it was very much a Christian country. The Jewish population was an extremely vocal minority, and if there were any other religions, one rarely if ever heard from them. And although there certainly were quite a few races other than Caucasian aka white, standards of beauty were primarily WASP, emphasizing straight, light-colored hair, small nose, light eyes, thin eyebrows and oval faces. Shoes were made for narrow feet, and the classic sheath dress was most flattering on narrow hips.

When I took on Jewish Sabbath observance and couldn't take important standardized tests on Saturdays, at least others had already successfully fought that battle, and there were places designated for Sunday testing, PSAT, SAT, College Boards etc.


After Thanksgiving, public places and public schools were decorated for Christmas, even including religious Nativity scenes. And schools had very Christian religious assemblies/pageants. That is until the local Jewish populations got strong and confident enough to stop it. Sometimes all that was done as a "change" was to add a dreidel and Chanukah Menorah to the Nativity Scene and sing "Dreidel Made Out of Clay" along with "Silent Night."

And many localities which have never had much of a Jewish presence, things never changed. They stayed unabashedly Christian.

Now, America is changing. Local authorities, schools and universities have to deal with the fact that there is religious diversities and the "minorities" aren't willing to stay silent or quietly assimilate. Isn't it all so deja vu? That's how I felt when I saw the following:
Georgia Jewish students riled by homecoming on Yom Kippur
I, personally, solved the dilemma by becoming more Jewish and not trying to live in two separate worlds simultaneously. I also moved to Israel, where not only are the Jewish Holidays the official ones, but the shoes are wider, too.


HDG, Yerushalayim, E"Y Shlemah said...

Batya, did you notice that on the left hand side of the picture the Hanukkiah has 9 candles? Someone must have realized that there should be a proper one to represent us.

Jennifer Brigman said...

I think that the seven candle configuration in the bottom right of the bulletin board may be intended to represent Kwaanza, a holiday celebrated in the winter by African Americans.

Jennifer Ionescu

Batya said...

You are both right. I stand corrected.

Jennifer Brigman said...

Beautiful Batya, may Hashem prevent that I should ever correct you, I only meant to comfort you about what appeared to be the wrong number of candles. Of all the holidays on that bulletin board, only Hanukkah is eternal anyway. May Hashem bless you.

Jennifer Ionescu

Batya said...

Thanks. I had so much trouble lookinh for a good illustration.shabbat shalom

Myrtle Rising said...

GREAT point, Batya. And you made it well.

Your experiences back then in the USA largely reflect mine, too.

May all of Bnei Yisrael be re-united easily and smoothly in Eretz Yisrael soon!